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Static load magnitude is a risk factor in the development of cumulative low back disorder.

Sbriccoli P; Solomonow M; Zhou BH; Baratta RV; Lu Y; Zhu MP; Burger EL
Muscle Nerve 2004 Feb; 29(2):300-308
Occupations requiring frequent periods of static lumbar flexion are known epidemiologically to be risk factors for the development of cumulative low back disorder. The impact of the load magnitude sustained during a series of short static lumbar flexions followed by an equally long rest period on the development of a cumulative low back disorder was addressed in an in vivo feline model. Static loads of 20, 40, and 60 N were applied over 10 min of flexion followed by 10-min rest sessions that were repeated six times (for a total of 2 h) while monitoring lumbar viscoelastic creep (laxity) and reflex electromyographic (EMG) activity from the multifidus muscles. Creep and EMG were also monitored over 7 h of rest following the six flexion-rest sessions. It was found that the creep developed in the 10-min flexion periods did not recover completely during the following 10 min of rest, giving rise to a large cumulative creep at the end of the work-rest session. Muscle activity demonstrated spasms during the static flexion periods as well as initial and delayed hyperexcitability during the 7-h rest period. Loads of 20 and 40 N did not result in delayed hyperexcitability, whereas loads of 60 N resulted in delayed hyperexcitability. Statistical analysis demonstrated that increased load significantly intensified the magnitude of the hyperexcitabilities (P < 0.05). Thus, repeated periods of static lumbar flexion were found to result in a transient neuromuscular disorder with an intensity directly related to the load magnitude, which should be considered a compounding risk factor.
Rest-periods; Risk-factors; Back-injuries; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Muscles; Muscular-disorders; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Tension; Injuries; Neuromuscular-function
Occupational Medicine Research Center, Bioengineering Laboratory, Suite 400, Department of Moshe Solomonow, Orthopaedic Surgery, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 2025 Gravier Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-004079; Grant-Number-R01-OH-007622
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Low Back Disorders
Source Name
Muscle & Nerve
Performing Organization
Louisiana State University, Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
Page last reviewed: August 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division